There’s that one moment when you’re in the water, halfway between the surface and the ocean floor, where time feels like it has stopped. A million different thoughts rush through your mind, like – what if I run out of air? But it’s too late to turn back now. The pressure is closing in on your ears. The water is getting cooler. The sunlight is slowly fading away. So you just take it all in as you descend into the depths of the Coral Sea.
Scuba diving is actually a lot harder than it looks. To get underwater (54 feet, to be exact – which is how deep Breaking Patches, the reef we went diving in was), you have to lower yourself into the water by holding on to the rope connected from the boat to the anchor. It’s almost like an easier version of rope-climbing, but in the opposite direction. Once you’re down there, it takes a lot of energy just to keep yourself from flipping over like a turtle on its back. Thankfully, our guide was with us every step of the way. We joined a tour where you can do an introductory dive without any certification.
Although my dive only lasted 20 minutes, it was more than enough time for me. The pressure was extremely uncomfortable on my ears. It feels like how your ears pop on an airplane. Plus, you need to constantly clear it out by holding your nose and blowing out. On top of that, I can’t swim that well – even though it wasn’t so much swimming as it was locking arms with and being deadweight to the poor guide who had to lead me around. I actually prefer snorkeling (with my safety noodle, of course). Not to say that scuba diving isn’t safe, but I personally felt safer with just snorkeling. I was able to enjoy the reef more.
Since my underwater camera quality isn’t that great, I didn’t get a lot of clear photos. I was also too busy trying not to flip over. I did manage to get this video of a giant clam we saw. It was just like the ones from, “The Little Mermaid”! (Skip ahead to the 0:32 mark).
Even though I was scared, I would still love to try scuba diving again. I feel like to get the full experience, you really should take a course, or get certified. But if you think scuba diving is something you only want to try once, the intro dive is a great way to do it. And there’s really no better place to do so than in the Great Barrier Reef!